Leeds MPs

WILLEY, Arthur Wellesly (1869–1923) Conservative. Solicitor.

He became a solicitor in 1890 and established himself in the police courts of the West Riding and across the North of England generally. He became an expert on law relating to sport and in particular on betting law. As his practice expanded he was able to command some of the highest fees outside London. He nevertheless was a public spirited man, serving the Conservative Party as a member on the Leeds Board of Guardians from 1898–1910 and becoming a councillor on Leeds City Council for Mill Hill ward in 1903 and an alderman in 1911. He was appointed chairman of the Waterworks Committee and Art Gallery and in 1919 was made chairman of the Central Leeds Conservative Association. In 1922 he was elected for Leeds Central with a majority of 6,293. Many viewed it as tragic that just as he was beginning to transfer his obvious talents from the local stage to the national one he died of a stroke. He was a racehorse owner and at about the time he won his seat in Parliament his horse was triumphant at Leicester. It was called appropriately, Leeds United. For further reading see Yorkshire Post, 3 July 1923.